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Calls grow for investigation into death of Colo. man in police custody

(WABI)
Published: Jun. 25, 2020 at 11:35 AM EDT
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A Colorado group is planning a rally for a 23-year-old man who died in police custody last year.

They are calling for Elijah McClain’s case to be reopened and for the officers and paramedics involved to face charges.

McClain died in August after he was taken to the ground by police, placed in a chokehold and given ketamine. He had been walking home when someone called 911 to report a man wearing a mask and acting odd.

McClain was not armed, nor had he committed a crime.

“I’m surprised how long it has taken for the world to take notice of this case,” said Mari Newman, the McClain family’s attorney.

Newman says millions have now heard McClain’s story, and the case is finally getting national, and international, attention.

“It’s very disappointing that it took the murder of somebody all the way across the country for people here in Colorado to finally take notice,” Newman said. “But it’s happening.”

McClain’s story has been shared as far as Portugal and even celebrities are now calling for further action.

“It shouldn’t take millions of people signing a petition, and it shouldn’t take international media attention, for elected official to do their jobs,” Newman said.

While the family wants charges against the officers, they hope the public will remember McClain as a kind young man who would play his violin for animals waiting to be adopted.

“He was an angel among humans,” Newman said. “… The public sees through that effort to avoid accountability and is now standing up and saying Aurora needs to take responsibility and do what is right.”

Aurora’s Public Safety, Courts and Civil Service Policy Committee sent a letter Wednesday to the city manager asking for an investigation.

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